‘Resolution of issues through
dialogue only way out’
Omar cautions people

against divisive forces

Excelsior Correspondent

POONCH, Dec 2 : Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Thursday cautioned the people of the designs of divisive forces bent upon to wedge the society in the name of religion, area, caste and creed......more

AN-32 Kargil courier
service from Dec 6

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: The AN-32 courier service for Kargil will start from December 6 to facilitate the movement of people of the mountainous district during the winter months. The decision to this effect was taken at a high level...more

Vaishno Devi Shrine Board
approves new projects to
meet requirement of yatris

Excelsior Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Dec 2 : In the 49th meeting of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board chaired by the Governor, N.N. Vohra (Chairman of the Board), several decisions were taken for augmenting the facilities for the yatris, as part of its rolling plan approach to ensure that..more

NC misleading nation on
ultras’ surrender policy: NPP

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: While assailing National Conference Party’s policy to rehabilitate Kashmiri militants who have gone across the LoC for arms training and its support by the coalition partners ( Congress), the Jammu and Kashmir...more

BJP stages demonstrations
at Gandhi Nagar, Muthi

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: In continuation to its week long protest launched by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) yesterday against the Chief..more

 

SFC employees
protest dharna enters
2nd day

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: Protest demonstration and dharna of the State Forest Corporation (SFC) employees and workers entered the second consecutive day today. The employees under the leadership of C K Sudan, president, J&K State Forest Corporation Employees Union (Jammu) and general secretary Suresh Sharma assembled....more

PNB officials,
others in CBI net

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: Central Bureau of Investigation/ Anticorruption Bureau Jammu has registered a case against the Chief Manager and Senior Manager of Punjab National Bank Branch Canal Road, Jammu. According to the FIR, one Gharu Ram, son of Sain Dass....more

VHP warns CM
against rehabilitation
of militants

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: Vishaw Hindu Parishad (VHP) today warned the State Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah backed by Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram and other Union Ministers on the rehabilitation of the youth who have crossed...more

     
 

6-lane Satwari-Kunjwani road to be completed by 2012.............

JKCCTU opposes privatization of Srinagar Centaur Hotel.........

Power shut down........

Peerzada reviews preparations for functioning of winter zone schools .........

Induct highly qualified faculty in SMVDU: Vohra......

Govt committed to work for equitable, sustained development: Sagar.......

23 guests arrive from PoK.........

KVK Bhaderwah organizes meet........

PCB observes National Pollution Prevention Day.......

VKMI for upgrading standard of education, health sectors.......

Pensioners criticize Govt policies .........

NC leader castigates BJP’s stand on rehabilitation policy.........

Three killed,11 injured in different mishaps........

Akhoon announces Rs 1 lakh each to kin of mishap victims........

BSNL employees’ strike enters second day.........

Durga Nagar residents meet V C JDA.........

MAM College holds symposium on computer education.......

NIIT celebrates 29th Foundation Day.........

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: NIIT, IT Trainer celebrated its 29th Foundation Day in a function, here today. The Foundation Day of NIIT was celebrated at all the centers of Jammu region and these also observed World Computer Literacy Day. R K Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director of the NIIT Jammu Franchisee in the presence of faculty members and students celebrated the Day. He stated that NIIT has been contributing its resources for making the people computer literate and stand by its initial slogan of bringing computers and people together.

Gandhi Peace Parikrama to enter J&K on Dec 7.........

Cong playing second fiddle to NC: Gupta.........

Tributes paid to Rajiv Dikshit........

Physiotherapists’ protest enters 10th day......

Handicapped Association seeks reservation benefits........

Thakur appointed incharge SSF Ramban.......

Retiring Girdawar given warm send off.......

BSF celebrates Raising Day .......

Rather inaugurates JK Bank branch ........

J&K freezes, Leh coldest.......

3 Bars sealed in City areas..........

 

‘Resolution of issues through dialogue only way out’
Omar cautions people against divisive forces

Excelsior Correspondent

POONCH, Dec 2 : Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Thursday cautioned the people of the designs of divisive forces bent upon to wedge the society in the name of religion, area, caste and creed.

"Propagandists elements are always in search of trifle incident to make mountain of a mole for personal interests", he said and called for strengthening the bonds of amity and brotherhood at all levels.

Addressing a large public meeting after inaugurating Rs. 10 crore District Hospital at Poonch, the Chief Minister said that the best approach to address issues was dialogue. "There is nothing which cannot be discussed and sorted out across the table", he added and said that resolution of issues through dialogue is in the manifesto of NC and Congress parties.

Present on the occasion were Minister for Health, Sham Lal Sharma, Minister for Medical Education, R. S. Chib, Minister of State for Health and Medical Education, Javid Ahmad Dar, Political Advisor to the Chief Minister, Devendar Singh Rana, Vice Chairman Pahari Advisory Board, Mushtaq Ahmad Bukhari, Vice Chairman Gujjar and Bakerwal Advisory Board, B. A. Naaz, legislators, Ajaz Ahmad Jan, Mohammad Rashid Qureshi and Jahangir Mir.

Omar Abdullah said that his Government has initiated two-pronged policy of addressing economic issues administratively and political issues politically. "We are working on both the fronts and striving to achieve positive results", he said, adding that peace was pre-requisite to move forward smoothly and without any hindrance.

"Unfortunately five months of unrest in the Valley has hampered our endeavours and caused massive damage. Most of the schemes got delayed and economic activities received set back. Now, with the improvement in the situation, both development works and political initiatives have gained momentum", he said and referred to the interaction of interlocutors with the people of various shades of opinion.

The Chief Minister said that attempts had been made to expand the unrest of Kashmir to other parts. However, he said the people foiled such designs and understood the interests behind such designs.

On health sector, the Chief Minister said that universalizing of up-to-date health care facilities in the State was the primary concern of his Government and rated health sector No. 1 concern of human beings.

On unemployment, Omar Abdullah laid emphasis on changing the mind set about employment. He said Government was keen to absorb as many youth in Government service as possible. However, he said the crisis cannot be addressed only by this step. "We have to look forward to create abundant job opportunities in private sector and launch self-employment ventures for which the Government has made the process easy and most viable", he said and asked the youth to take best advantage of Sher-i-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme (SKEWP).

Omar Abdullah said that he has told the Director General of Police to visit the far-flung areas and explore the possibility of on spot recruitment of locals in Police Department.

The Chief Minister said that construction of Mughal road to link Poonch and Rajouri districts with Kashmir via Shopian has increased economic activities in the area besides helping in transshipment of fruit and other material. "On the full commissioning of the road such activities would get tremendous boost", he said.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister for Health, Sham Lal Sharma enumerated the measures underway for improvement and upgradation of health service in the State. He said attention was being focused on strengthening the health facilities from primary level and reaching out to every resident to address his needs on this count.

In his speech Minister for Medical Education, R. S. Chib highlighted the achievements registered in this sector during the last about two years and said that a strategy has been put in place to ensure comprehensive and all round development in medical education and health sector.

Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated Rs. 10 crore 120 bedded new district hospital complex increasing the total bed capacity to 200 with modern medicare facilities. The hospital will have tele-medicine links and a solar power plant of 9.75 KW capacity as a back up facility. It would also have the facilities of CT Scan, modern diagnosis and surgery.

A separate Emergency Block of the Hospital is also under construction at a cost of Rs. 3.81 crores. Presently, there are 160 health institutions in district Poonch including 17 PHCs and two Mobile Medical Centres.

AN-32 Kargil courier service from Dec 6

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: The AN-32 courier service for Kargil will start from December 6 to facilitate the movement of people of the mountainous district during the winter months.

The decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting convened to finalize the arrangements for starting the courier service for the district. Minister for Transport and CAPD, Qamar Ali Akhoon was in the chair.

It was decided that Kargil courier service will operate between Srinagar-Kargil on every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday while between Kargil- Jammu on every Tuesday as per the past practice.

It was further decided that passengers from Srinagar should be dropped at Leh in case of bad weather at Kargil, besides in case of cancellation of any flight on any day, additional flight will be operated next day.

Measures taken for providing helicopter service to cut off areas like Karnah, Gurez, Navpachi, Zanskar, Drass Kishtwar,Inshan,Dachhen etc were also discussed .

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Akhoon stressed upon the concerned to maintain coordination to ensure smooth operation of the courier and helicopter services in the interest of the people living in cut off areas. He said that so far 232 sorties of Kargil courier service have been allotted by the concerned authorities and proposal for its enhancement is being submitted.

While reviewing the arrangement at airports, the Minister asked for foolproof security arrangements at Kargil, Srinagar and Jammu, besides setting up of separate booking counters weighing machines and sitting arrangements for the passengers travelling through special courier service. He also directed for making available SRTC service for transporting the passengers to the airports in the twin capital cities and Kargil.

Keeping in view rush of passengers during the months of December, February and March, Mr Akhoon asked the Air Force authorities to provide IL-76 services from Srinagar- Leh and Udhampur-Leh for conveyance of people as was done last year.

MLA, Zanskar, Feroz Ahmad Khan, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Special Secretary to Chief Minister, Zaffar Ahmad, Managing Director, SRTC, J. S. Tandon, Director, Civil Aviation, Katoch, representatives of Indian Airlines, Officers of Air Force, Police and Security, besides OSD to Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir attended the meeting.

Vaishno Devi Shrine Board approves
new projects to meet requirement of yatris

Excelsior Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Dec 2 : In the 49th meeting of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board chaired by the Governor, N.N. Vohra (Chairman of the Board), several decisions were taken for augmenting the facilities for the yatris, as part of its rolling plan approach to ensure that the progressively increasing number of pilgrims to the holy shrine are provided satisfactory facilities.

The Members of the Board viz., E. Sreedharan, Managing Director, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and Dr. S.S. Bloeria, former Chief Secretary J&K attended the meeting. Besides, R.K. Goyal, Chief Executive Officer, Mandeep K. Bhandari, Additional CEO and H.L. Maini, Technical Consultant were present.

The Board discussed activities, particularly those relating to the facilities provided to the yatris and endorsed the ongoing initiatives of the Chairman to carry through a sustained programme to enlarge and augment the infrastructure for providing the required facilities for the growing number of yatris.

The Board approved inter alia a proposal to establish a 5 storey accommodation complex at Jammu at an estimated cost of approx. Rs. 12 crore. This complex is designed to provide, at moderate tariff, accommodation to about 400 yatris along with all required amenities viz. medical and basic provision stores, souvenir shop, food outlets, laundry etc. The Chairman directed the CEO to have this project commissioned within two years.

The Board suggested that timely attention be also paid to drawing up a practical plan for augmenting the accommodation facilities at Katra to meet the emerging requirements in the context of Katra being soon connected by Railways with rest of the country which would obviously result in further boosting the pilgrimage.

Considering the difficulties faced by the yatris, particularly in the Banganga-Adhkwari sector on account of the limited carrying capacity of the track and the recurring acute congestion caused by the simultaneous movement of a large number of pilgrims on foot alongside pony mounted yatris and mules carrying materials, the Board agreed in-principle to the proposal to undertake the time bound construction of a dedicated mule track from Darshani Deodi to Adhkwari. The Board further desired that the required track improvement works be undertaken on the critical portions of the existing track between Banganga and the Shrine, through appropriate technical interventions.

The Governor re-iterated the importance of ensuring the provision of timely medical care facilities to the ailing and injured yatris during the pilgrimage. In this context, the Board accorded in-principle approval to construct an emergency Helipad on the lower track between Adhkwari and Bhawan for evacuating yatris in emergency situations, critical illness, serious injury in an accident, etc.

The Board further decided that all health care units and dispensaries located on the track from Banganga to Bhawan should be equipped with life saving support systems, including Defibrillator with Cardiac Monitor, Self-Interpreting ECG machine and Portable Ventilator. It was also decided to procure an air-conditioned Advanced Life Support Ambulance, equipped with essential life saving equipments for transporting critical cases requiring treatment / monitoring under medical supervision from Katra to Jammu, or to other places for timely specialized treatment.

The Chief Executive Officer, R.K. Goyal, briefed the Board about status of the proceedings undertaken with M/s RITES in regard to the proposed Material Ropeway System between Siar Dabri to Bhawan and the Passenger Ropeway System between Bhawan and Bhairon temple.

The Board was also briefed about the status of the projects approved by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, under its Special Area Demonstration Project Scheme, which related to setting up of a 5000 LPD water heating system at Shakti Bhawan, Niharika, Katra; a mule dung based biogas plant of 4 ton per day capacity at Banganga; a solar photovoltaic power plant of 5 KWp capacity at Bhawan; and a solar emergency lighting system and mobile battery charging system.

NC misleading nation on ultras’ surrender policy: NPP

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: While assailing National Conference Party’s policy to rehabilitate Kashmiri militants who have gone across the LoC for arms training and its support by the coalition partners ( Congress), the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party has termed it as a move to mislead Central Government and the people of the nation.

Addressing a press conference here today, chairman of the NPP Prof Bhim Singh said, "It is not surrender policy but a mechanism adopted by NC-led coalition Government in the State to bring back the same youth who were sent by the same party for arms training before 1990 and even thereafter. There is lot of pressure on the NC leadership from the parents of these youth across the LoC to bring them back and because of this reason, the NC leadership got this policy cleared from the Cabinet and those from Congress remained silent spectators", Prof Singh maintained.

"Many youth have got married in PoK and parts of Pakistan and they have children. Cabinet has no right to grant citizenship to those who are born on that side. This is very serious and technical issue. The party would challenge the decision in the Supreme Court of India", Prof Singh added.

While referring to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s remarks that J&K has only acceded to India and not merged with Union of India and India should involve Pakistan to resolve Kashmir dispute, NPP leader said that it indicates NC’s mindset of being pro-separatists. It is unfortunate that Union Home Ministry and Central leadership was still supporting him without realizing the consequences. He said there is no dispute as such. Pakistan should hand over the captured area back to India that is the only issue, NPP leader said.

BJP stages demonstrations at Gandhi Nagar, Muthi

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: In continuation to its week long protest launched by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) yesterday against the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s recent statement challenging the accession of the State with rest of the country, continued discrimination to which the Jammu region has been subjected and failure to order the delimitation of constituencies, the Party activists held demonstrations at Gandhi Nagar and Muthi today.

The BJP activists of Gandhi Nagar Mandal led by Arun Khosla held a demonstration at Gole Market today and torched the effigy of Chief Minister for his utterances.

Addressing the demonstration, BJP district president Rajesh Gupta said that the statement of Omar Abdullah over the accession has evoked a wide spread resentment and hurt the sentiments of the people all over the country. The Constitution of J&K is clear that Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India. The Chief Minister is under oath of the Constitution and by questioning the accession he has indulged in anti Constitutional act which is condemnable, he added.

Terming the accession of J&K with Indian Union as final, he said it is a settled issue and no one has the right to challenge the historical fact. He reminded Chief Minister that his father Dr Farooq Abdullah has also publicly accepted that J&K is an integral part of India and the CM should take a cue from his father instead of raking up controversies on settled issues.

Mr Gupta warned that BJP will not tolerate any comment or statement which challenges the national unity and integrity.

Mandal president of the Party Arun Khosla said with these demonstrations the BJP wants to send a message to the Government that the people will not tolerate any one indulging in anti-national propaganda. He made it clear that people in the State will no longer be misled by the hollow slogans of revolution made by Chief Minister.

BJP leaders Suresh Jamwal, Jaideep Sharma, Surinder Mahajan, Aseem Gupta, Tarseem Choudhary, Hardesh Kumar, Abhinandan Bhardwaj, Indu Bhushan, Vikas, S C Verma were among other Party activists who took part in the protest.

At Muthi the demonstration was led by party district president Jammu, Rural, Suraj Parkash Padha. The demonstrators raising slogans against the coalition Government warned that Party will not tolerate anti national utterances of any leader. They also demanded that Chief Minister should either withdraw his statement, seek public apology or quit as his statement is total breach of Constitution.

The Party leaders who addressed the demonstration included Omi Khjuria, ex corporator, Karan Singh BJP president Kissan Morcha, Mukesh Sharma, Mandal president, Hans Raj Manhas, Sub (reted) Chuni Lal, Narinder Singh and Pawan Singh.

SFC employees protest dharna enters 2nd day

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: Protest demonstration and dharna of the State Forest Corporation (SFC) employees and workers entered the second consecutive day today.

The employees under the leadership of C K Sudan, president, J&K State Forest Corporation Employees Union (Jammu) and general secretary Suresh Sharma assembled outside the office of Managing Director of the SFC Abdul Qayoom Khan at Narwal (Gladni) here in the morning and staged massive demonstration. They were shouting slogans against the MD and demanding modification in the order related to freezing of the arrears of the employees.

While addressing the gathering, the trade union leaders termed the order No. 775 dated November 30, 2010 as most controversial. They pointed out that decision regarding arrears and conversion of COLA into DA has already been taken by the Government and GAD has issued notification in this concern but now issuing another order in this connection by MD is just a mockery of the previous order. Moreover, it is the question of freezing of arrears worth over Rs 36 crore of the employees.

They said that protest of the employees will be continued till the decision is reviewed and order modified.

PNB officials, others in CBI net

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: Central Bureau of Investigation/ Anticorruption Bureau Jammu has registered a case against the Chief Manager and Senior Manager of Punjab National Bank Branch Canal Road, Jammu.

According to the FIR, one Gharu Ram, son of Sain Dass of village Kothe Chohala, RS Pura, Proprietor of M/s Jai Lakshmi Rice Mill approached PNB Branch Canal Road in 2007 for securing credit facility and term loan of Rs 30 lakh and working capital facility of Rs 60 lakh under the small medium enterprises scheme for setting-up of rice mill at village Kothe Chohala.

The primary securities like hypothecation of entire stock of raw material, stock in process, furnished goods for capital limits and hypothecation of entire plant and machinery, fixed assets for terms loan and also against land measuring 2 kanal and 14 kanal 3 marlas belonging to Gharu Ram for mortgage deed dated August 20, 2007.

The term and capital loan to the tune of Rs 90 lakh was sanctioned by SK Jain, then Chief Manager PNB Bank Canal Road Jammu on the recommendations of concerned officer of the bank in favour of M/s Jai Lakshmi Rice Mill.

On October 2008, Gharu Ram approached PNB Branch, Canal Road for enhancement of cash credit limit from Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1.25 crore for promotion of business against hypothecation stock and land measuring 11 kanal and 16 marlas at village Kothe Chohala belonging to Gharu Ram. The CC credit limit was enhanced from Rs 60 lakh to Rs one crore in the year 2009 on the recommendations of JK Sharma, then Senior Manager PNB Branch, Canal Road, who had conducted pre-sanctioned visit to the site of mortgaged land, which is not existing on the name of borrower.

It was alleged that Gharu Ram submitted fake and forged revenue documents while obtaining credit facilities to the tune of Rs 1.30 crore from the bank. As per revenue record, land mortgaged to the bank did not exist in the name of Gharu Ram but belongs to other villagers.

The credit facilities were used by the owner of the mill for his own ends and no repayment was made to the bank as a result of which the loan account turned NPA on September 30, 2010 but concerned bank officials made no efforts to recover the outstanding loan along with the interest from the borrowers which clearly established conspiracy between the borrowers and the bank officials.

VHP warns CM against rehabilitation of militants

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: Vishaw Hindu Parishad (VHP) today warned the State Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah backed by Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram and other Union Ministers on the rehabilitation of the youth who have crossed over to Pakistan and PoK from 1989 to 2009 to seek arms training.

In a statement issued here today, the VHP state president, Dr Rama Kant Dubey, termed the rehabilitation policy totally dangerous. The Chief Minister perhaps does not know that these youth are fully trained in utilization of lethal weapons and indulged in anti national activities including waging a war against the nation for the last two decades, killing people, security personnel and so on.

He said that some of these militants have even families in Pakistan after marrying the Pak women and once permitted they will come along with their families. Moreover any body who takes to arms hardly leaves them so Government should reconsider the decision as it is slated to pose a threat to national unity and integrity, he added.

Dr Dubey, while criticizing the Chief Minister said his statements on demilitarization, revocation of AFSPA, challenging the accession reveal his political immaturity. The Chief Minister instead of raking up the controversial issues should pay attention towards the solution of the problems of the masses and fight out the rising corruption.

He said before raking up controversy on accession the Chief Minister was supposed to go through its constitutional and historical background. The Accession was signed by the then Maharaja and ratified by the State Assembly later, he added.

He said the Chief Minister and Union Home Minister should keep their eyes open on inimical dangers and refrain from pleading the cause of the youth who have gone to Pakistan for arms training.

6-lane Satwari-Kunjwani road to be completed by 2012

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2 : To ease rush on 3.6 kilometer long Satwari-Kunjwani road, the Government has formulated a comprehensive project costing Rs. 50 crore under Central Road Funding (CRF) for its widening up to 6-lane by constructing two bridges, deep drains on either side besides, Water Bound Macadam and River Bed Material works, said Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Raman Bhalla, here today.

The Minister said this after laying the foundation stone of 3.6 kilometer long deep drain at Ashok Nagar near Satwari chowk, estimated to cost Rs. 6 crore.

Interacting with the locals, Mr. Bhalla said that on its upgradation to 6-lane, the traffic congestion on Satwari-Kunjwani road would be reduced to a large extent. He asked the people to vacate encroachments from the Government land voluntarily, otherwise necessary action would be initiated against the illegal occupants. He said that coalition Government is committed to complete the project within two years for the convenience of general masses.

The Minister asked the PWD authorities to complete the deep drain work on right and left sides of the road within stipulated time frame by diverting water into Landoi Choi nallah. He said the construction of concrete water passage will benefit people of Digiana, Ashok Nagar and Gangyal Industrial Estates, besides adjoining bastis including Akali Kour Singh Nagar, Digiana Camp, Nai Basti and Jeevan Nagar.

Mr. Bhalla said that the Government has also formulated a plan for beautifying the area from Satwari to Kunjwani by planting ornamental plants along side the road. He said that Government has earmarked Rs. 1 crore for construction of a park on available space in Akali Kour Singh Nagar on modern lines. He said that the instructions have been issued to Flouriculture Department for developing parks and strips along canals and nallahs, adding Rs. 7 crore has been earmarked for the purpose.

For smooth execution of road widening works, the Minister asked the PDD and PHE departments to remove the Water Supply Lines, besides Low Transmission and High Transmission lines from the areas coming under the ambit of road project.

JKCCTU opposes privatization of Srinagar Centaur Hotel

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: J&K Coordination Committee of Trade Unions and Centaur Hotel Employees Union have strongly opposed the move of the Management of Hotel Corporation of India, under the administrative control of Civil Aviation Ministry (GoI) to privatize the property and lease out to a Mumbai based firm for a petty amount of just Rs 2 crore annually.

Addressing a joint press conference Mohd Maqbool, state president of JKCCTU, Showkat Ahmed Kuchay president and Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Mehdi general secretary of CHEU alleged that the management of 5-Star Centaur Lake View Hotel, Srinagar, has signed a calendestine deal with Mumbai based company M/s BD&P Hotels ( India) Pvt Ltd and given on lease for 30 years for merely Rs 2 crore per year. They pointed out that this prestigious hotel located at ideal location on the bank of world famous lake Dal has over 250 rooms and s staff of nearly 350.

The Hotel has recorded turn over of Rs 6 crore in just last three months and may fetch nearly Rs 20 to 25 crore annually. But it is unfortunate that this property is being re-sublet for jusr Rs 2 crore by some vested interests in the Management. They said the employees who are working here for the last over 20 to 25 years fear retrenchment in near future and their rights are being jeopardized. They said the hotel, which is a subsidiary of Air India, was inaugurated in 1982 in Kashmir. The State Government offered the property to HCI with 13 acres of prime land around lake on lease of 99 years on negligible rate of rent per acre with a motive to develop tourism. Without the consent of State Government and the local employees (80%), a secret deal has been made, which has been strongly opposed. A conspiracy has been made to throw out the local employees. They demanded that management should scrap this agreement. If the HCI is unable to run the Hotel they should hand it over to Ministry of Civil Aviation to cater to the needs of International Airport, Srinagar.

Power shut down

Excelsior Correspondent

KATHUA, Dec 2: In order to carry out urgent work of raising ground clearance of 11 KV Koulpur and Bandral feeders on NH-1A crossing at Vijaypur, the shut down to Vijaypur town, Sawankh Morh Channie, Ramgarh, Nanga, Kamorh, Koulpur, Bandral, Abtal, Plota, Garwal, Keso Pakrie and adjoining areas of 33 KV line to Ramgarh from Receiving Station Vijaypur, 11 KV Koulpur feeder, 11 KV Bandral feeder and 11 KV Vijaypur feeder will remain affected on December 4, 2010 from 10 a m to 5 p m.

According to Superintending Engineer, Electric Maintenance and RE Circle, Kathua, the shutdown is subject to fair weather condition.

Peerzada reviews preparations
for functioning of winter zone schools

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2 : In the backdrop of Government’s announcement to cancel the vacations in winter zones of the State, Minister for Education and Public Enterprises Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed on Thursday convened a State level meeting of Education Department to take stock of preparedness, requirements and arrangements to be made for effective functioning of High and Higher Secondary Schools during the winter season.

The meeting also reviewed implementation of various Centrally sponsored schemes including Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Rashtriya Madmic Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).

Threadbare discussion was held on purchase of bukharies, coal, firewood, minor repairs like fixing of the broken window panes, doors of schools etc. The meeting also deliberated upon imparting training to teachers through DIETs, streamlining of the mid-day meal scheme, besides measures to be taken for conducting special recruitment drive of migrants.

While interacting with the CEOs and DIET Principals from both the divisions, the Minister sought individual suggestions of each officer and directed them to put forth the proposals for requirement of funds to run the schools smoothly during the winter months within a week’s time positively.

Peerzada directed the concerned to ban all transfers of teachers and masters till March, 2011 and withdraw deployment orders of Rehber-e-Taleem teachers if any made. He also directed them not to refer teacher posts of backward areas to SSRB and fill such vacancies on ReT pattern. He asked them to engage ReTs in a transparent manner and warned that strict action will be taken against concerned in case of any complaint.

The Minister asked the education authorities to constitute monitoring committees to check the functioning of winter zone schools.

Among others Commissioner/Secretary, Education Naseem Lankar, Director School Education, Kashmir Shagufta Parveen, Director School Education, Jammu G. A. Qureshi, Secretary, State Board of School Education Dr. Bashir Ahmad, Chief Education Officers from all the winter zones of the State, DIET Principals and other senior officers of the concerned departments attended the meeting.

Induct highly qualified faculty in SMVDU: Vohra

Excelsior Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Dec 2: The Governor, N. N. Vohra, presided over the 16th Meeting of the Executive Council of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, which met here to discuss academic, administrative and financial matters, including proposals for further infrastructure development in the University.

Expressing satisfaction over the various academic initiatives taken by the University, the Governor, who is also the Chancellor of the University, stressed the need for recruitment of the most qualified and experienced faculty in a time-bound manner to meet the University’s present and emerging academic requirements. He also urged the Vice Chancellor to take time bound steps to secure the required infrastructure for achieving the all round development of the University.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. R.N.K. Bamezai, informed that the profile of admission seekers to the various technical courses had witnessed sharp improvement this year, in terms of AIEEE ranking of the students. The Governor complemented the Vice Chancellor and the concerned faculty on the assignment of several research projects to the University by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

The meeting was attended, among others, by Prof. Riyaz Punjabi, Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prof. Varun Sahni, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu, Prof. Vinaysheel Gautam, Professor of Management Studies, IIT, Delhi, R.K. Goyal, Chief Executive Officer, SMVDSB and Prof. C.L. Razdan, Director, School of Architecture and Landscape Design, SMVDU.

Govt committed to work for
equitable, sustained development: Sagar

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2 : Asserting Government’s commitment to develop the State on equitable basis irrespective of giving preference to any particular area or school of thought, the Minister for Rural Development, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Mohammad Sagar has said that steps are underway to develop the State as the model one.

The Minister was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a model village at Jindrah-Dansal today. The Minister of State for Rural Development, Aijaz Ahmad Khan, MLA, Nagrota, Jugal Kishore, Director Rural Development Department, Jammu, M. Y. Zargar, Additional District Development, Jammu, D. R. Sharma and senior officers of the department and administration were present.

Asking the officers to create the necessary awareness about the various schemes, Mr Sagar said that the same is necessary for the proper implementation of these as more and more people would be coming forward to get benefitted from the same.

Mr. Sagar while asking the people to participate in the coming Panchayati elections said that a special provision has been provided to the women folk as well by giving them 33% reservation. He said they should also ensure their participation as the same would broaden the scope of Panchayats and also ensure the full participation.

"The establishment of the panchayats is essential to transfer the power to the grass root level and also ensure the participation of the people in policy formulation and implementation. We would also be getting additional funds from the Centre which would accelerate the pace of development of rural areas", he maintained.

23 guests arrive from PoK

SRINAGAR, Dec 2: Twenty-three guests from Pakistan-occupied- Kashmir(PoK) arrived here today while seven Kashmiris crossed over to other side of the Line of Control (LoC) in the Karvan-e-Aman weekly bus, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad.

As many as 17 residents of PoK and Kashmir valley also crossed sides after completing stay with their respective relatives.

Official sources said, 23 PoK residents, including 11 women and three children, arrived at Kaman post, the last Indian military post on LoC in Uri sector after crossing the Aman Setu bridge on foot this afternoon.

This was the highest number of PoK residents after July 15 when 46 guests from across the border had arrived here.

So far 536 PoK residents had visited their relatives on this side of the border since January this year.

Sources said seven residents of the Kashmir valley, who had crossed over to PoK, also returned here after completing stay with their relatives. They included two women.

They said seven residents of different parts of the Kashmir valley also travelled to PoK to meet their relatives. They included three women and a child.

Ten residents of PoK, who had arrived here in previous buses also returned to their homes after completing stay in Kashmir with their relatives.

A total of 198 Kashmiris had so far crossed over to PoK since January this year.(UNI)

KVK Bhaderwah organizes meet

Excelsior Correspondent

BHADERWAH, Dec 2: SKUAST Jammu, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Doda, Bhaderwah, organized 4th Scientific Advisory Committee meeting under the chairmanship of Dr K S Risam, Director Extension Education, SKUAST, where in the scientists of University, officers of State Agriculture and Allied Departments and progressive farm women participated.

The occasion was also graced by Dr Pramod Basu, Associate Director Extension, SKUAST Jammu. Welcome address was delivered by Dr R S Bandral. In his inaugural address Dr K S Risam emphasized the need of bridging the knowledge gap of farmers through various activities of KVK.

He stressed on diversification of agriculture for meeting the challenges of food demands of an expotentially growing population. Appreciating the cooperation of line departments Dr Risam urged for a holistic approach of KVK scientists and line departments to deliver the agriculture techniques at the door steps of farmers.

Dr Bandral, programme coordinator, KVK, presented the activities taken up by KVK and proposed the action plan 2011-12 for approval of the house. The meeting concluded with vote of thanks by Dr Julie Bandral, SMS (Home Science).

The others present in the Scientific Advisory Committee were Dr R M Sharma, incharge RHRSS, Dr Neeraj Kotwal, Dr Rakesh, Dr Dara Sharma and other staff members.

PCB observes National Pollution Prevention Day

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2 :Jammu and Kashmir State Pollution Control Board, (SPCB) in collaboration with Association of Industries Jammu, observed ‘National Pollution Prevention Day’ to commemorate thousands of persons who lost their lives in Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

The Day was observed by organizing a seminar on the theme of "Prevention & Control of Industrial Pollution" at ASSI Bhawan, Industrial Area, Gangyal, Jammu.

Commissioner/Secretary Forests, Shantmanu, while welcoming the industrial development in the State expressed concern over increasing levels of pollution in the state. He appealed for creating awareness among the industrialists about the hazards of pollution, simplification of regulatory processes and strict action against the defaulting units.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman, SPCB, Lal Chand threw light on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and informed the gathering that such a great loss has taken place due to negligence and compromise with the safety standards in control of pollution. According to him requisite preventive measures should be taken to avert such unfortunate incidences. He further appealed industrialists to follow the norms like adoption of pollution control measures and safe disposal of industrial waste.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, (PCCF) and Director SFRI, R.D.Tiwari also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the complementary role of industry and Pollution Control Board to ensure clean environment in the State.

Members Secretary PCB, Dr. Mohit Gera, Director Industries, B.S. Dua and T.S. Reen, President, Association of Industries Jammu, besides other senior officers of Forest, allied departments and PCB attended the seminar .

VKMI for upgrading standard of education, health sectors

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: Vichar Kranti Manch International (VKMI), a socio spiritual voluntary organization has urged the Government to upgrade standard of education and health institutions. The Manch is holding its national convention on the subject of necessity of inculcation of moral and ethical values in the Society on December 4.

Addressing the media persons R R Khajuria founder of the Manch elaborated the purpose of organizing national convention and observing of fortnight on moral and ethical values to focus attention of masses, media and Government all over the world to realize importance of moral and ethical values. He urged the United Nations and its agencies to observe international week on moral and ethical values commencing from October 2, birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi every year.

The founder of the organization, R R Khajuria said that manch is observing international fortnight from December 6 to19 and is celebrating Sarv Dharam Sammelon, Sankalap march, painting competition, health camp, blood donation camp, environment awareness/global warning/plantation drive, group discussion on electronic media and multi lingual poetic mushairas.

Mr. Khajuria on the occasion said that VKMI has opened its chapters at Shimla, Chandigarh and Delhi besides its units are already working in different parts of the State like Leh, Kargil, Srinagar, Bhaderwah and Kishtwar.

Pensioners criticize Govt policies

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: Pensioners Association in a meeting here today held under the leadership of Mukand Lal Sharma its general secretary has criticized the anti pensioners and anti employees policies of the State Government.

The meeting was also informed that the Association has completed its scheduled awareness programme in Durga Nagar, Muthi, Domana, Akhnoor, Satwari and other places.

Addressing the meeting Mr Abrol said that the Government has increased the monthly salary of the legislators with three times hike , the additional perks amounting to more than 8000 and the legislators have been given Rs 1000 per month as medical allowance.

Mr Abrol while condemning the policy of high handedness of the State Government towards over 1.35 lakh pensioners and 4.5 lakh employees alleged that the Government has totally ignored them by not implementing the recommendations of 6th Pay Commission.

He said the Association has already rejected the roadmap of the Government.

He demanded that the arrears of revision of pension from January 1, 2006 to June 30, 2009 be paid in one installment in respect of state pensioners, the additional quantum of pension in favour of the state pensioners be released after attaining the age on the analogy of Central Government pensioners, the medical allowance be enhanced from Rs 300 to Rs 1000 to the state pensioners, release of 6 percent DA installment due from January 2009 to June 2009 with full arrears and release of 10 percent DA from July 1, 2009.

NC leader castigates BJP’s stand on rehabilitation policy

Excelsior Correspondent

BANIHAL, Dec 2: Lambasting BJP for playing communal and regional politics by making hue and cry on the Chief Minister’s rehabilitation policy, National Conference leader Sajjad Shaheen has said that BJP is trying to exploit the sentiments of the people for its petty political gains.

In a press note here he castigated the BJP leader Ashok Khajuria for his immature statement calling for social boycott of Jammu people with the Chief Minister.

Shaheen advised the BJP leadership to refrain from playing communal and divisive politics as the people of the State are fed-up with the politics of exploitation and communal hatred.

Three killed,11 injured in different mishaps

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: Three people were killed and 11 others injured some of them seriously in road mishaps across the Jammu region during the past 24 hours while various other cases of similar nature were also reported during the same period.

Dead body of a male namely Bikan Sah, son of Hakhan Sah of ‘B’ Coy, 72 bn BSF, posted at Naryain, HQ Paloura, who died due to cardiac arrest was brought to GMC Hospital here.

Mohan Singh son of Manger Singh R/o Allahabad, UP, presently at Bari Brahmana, received burn injuries while cooking at home. He was rushed to GMC hospital and got admitted.

Kulbir Singh son of Balwant Singh R/o Kalakot died here at hospital after having fall from a mini bus. Rohit Sharma son of Sham Lal R/o Reyal, Bishnah was hit by scooter and got injured. He was brought to GMC hospital and got admitted. Mukesh of Sidhra was injured when hit by a tractor and was hospitalized. Sham Sunder R/o Sainak Colony was injured after he fell down from roof top. Y K Razdan son of P N Razdan of Bharti Nagar, Bantalab was also injured in another incident. Both were brought to GMC hospital ands got admitted.

One 50 years old person namely Joginder Pal Chadda son of Om Prakash Chadda, R/o Rehari Colony had a fall form Truck No: JKO2Q-5181 at Narwal and died on the spot. His body was brought to GMC Hospital for post mortum and other legal formalities. Anil Singh son of Omkar Singh and Pardeep Singh son of Ram Singh R/o village Meeyan, were injured due to lathi charge near Batyra hospital. They were rushed to GMC hospital for treatment. Meanwhile Sahil son of Jagdish R/o Gangal allegedly consumed some poisonous stuff at his residence. He has been hospitalized.

Mohd Ishaq son of Ali Mohd of Thana Mandi, Karyote, Bashir Ahmed son of Habibulla and Farooq Ahmed son of Gulam Ahmed R/o Anantnag, Nirmal Kumar son of Harbans Lal R/o R S Pura, Om Prakash son of Kripa Ram R/o Aknoor, Puja Devi W/o Anurag R/o Bathar, Sunderbani, Sushma Khujaria W/o Sudershan R/o Bagnoti, Nowhera, were also injured and brought to GMC hospital for treatment.

Two people were brought dead to GMC hospital. They have been identified as Raj Kumar son of Krishan Lal R/o Udhayawala and Ashih son of Balram R/o Malik Market age 4 years.

Avtar Krishan son of Maheshwar Nath R/o Janipur, died due to electric shock at Talab Khatikian, Peer Mitha.

The police has taken cognizance of the matter.

Akhoon announces Rs 1 lakh each to kin of mishap victims

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: Minister for Transport and CAPD, Qamar Ali Akhoon today visited Government Medical College Jammu and enquired about well being of the injured in Kalakote mini-bus accident yesterday.

The Minister visited various wards and personally interacted with the injured and their attendants. He asked the authorities to provide better medicare facilities to the injured.

Mr. Akhoon also announced Rs. 1 lakh in favour of kins of each deceased and Rs. 50 thousand to each injured under Passenger Welfare Scheme.

He also prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls and early recovery of the injured ones.

The Minister was accompanied by Transport Commissioner, Dr. Syed Fazalullah, Managing Director, SRTC, J.S. Tandon and Deputy Transport Commissioner, Bhumesh Sharma.

BSNL employees’ strike enters second day

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: The strike of BSNL employees continued for the second consecutive day today.

A handout issued by Joint Action Committee of Association/Union of BSNL Executives and Non Executives said as the dead lock still continued between the JAC and top management of BSNL at New Delhi, the strike continued today also.

Various leaders of JAC addressed the gatherings of BSNL workers in each and every unit of the BSNL Circle in J&K today.

It warned that agitational programme can take an ugly turn if the Government continues its rigid attitude towards the workers.

The demonstrations were addressed by Com Mir Nissar Ahmed, Ravinder Razdhan, T B Gadoo, R J Kaw, P K Bali, Sunil Parimoo, Jeet Raj, Gittan Singh, Narain Singh Manhas, Raman Sharma, M K Koul, Jeet Raj Kalsi and A K Bhat.

Durga Nagar residents meet V C JDA

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: A deputation of Durga Nagar Welfare Committee led by its president Roshan Lal Raina met Vice Chairman Jammu Development Authority (JDA) and demanded immediate completion of park at Durga Nagar.

It informed the VC that a portion of land was leveled in the area for turning it into a recreational park but later no headway was made in this regard.

It said the entire Municipal wards in Jammu have the facilities of recreational parks except the Durga Nagar.

The delegation in an appeal to VC urged him to issue the necessary orders regarding the construction of park on the said piece of land.

The deputation also met the Executive Engineer R&B and demanded immediate black topping of the left over roads in the area.

MAM College holds symposium on computer education

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: The BCA Department of Government MAM College today organised symposium on "Impact of Computer Education in the Present Era" on the eve of World Computer Literacy Day.

Prof Dev Anand, HOD, Department of Computer Sciences and Information Technology, University of Jammu, was the chief guest. While speaking, he stressed that being students of computer education it is the moral responsibility of BCA students’ to spread computer education amongst all sections of the society. He assured full support to Department regarding placements of students.

Prof Ajeet Angral, Principal of the College, lauded the efforts of the Department and advised the students to imbibe modern technical skills for better performance in the modern competitive world. He also informed that College has launched one month computer awareness program for local fund workers of the college to make them aware about computer education.

Prof Sujat Ali Khan, HoD of the BCA Department, stressed on the need of computer education and assured full support in spreading computer awareness among the computer illiterates.

Tanvi Bhargav was adjudged as first in the contest while Gurleen Kaur and Bhanu Sethi stood second and third in the said contest respectively.

Prof Y P Kundal, Prof Raj Singh Narainya and Prof Banpreet Kour were the jury members on the occasion.

Asim Aftab conducted the proceedings while Prof Vijay Kumar gave vote of thanks.

NIIT celebrates 29th Foundation Day

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: NIIT, IT Trainer celebrated its 29th Foundation Day in a function, here today.

The Foundation Day of NIIT was celebrated at all the centers of Jammu region and these also observed World Computer Literacy Day.

R K Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director of the NIIT Jammu Franchisee in the presence of faculty members and students celebrated the Day. He stated that NIIT has been contributing its resources for making the people computer literate and stand by its initial slogan of bringing computers and people together.

During the function, two highly subsidized programmes to make students computer literate and enable them to harness the power of social media like face book, twitter and use of other internet tools were launched.

Mr Sharma stated that programes are most suitable for students, housewives, senior citizens serving people and people in educational field as it enables them to use this wonder machine in making their day to day life more efficient and easy.

Gandhi Peace Parikrama to enter J&K on Dec 7

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: With an aim to promote peace and harmony across the country, the Gandhi Peace Parikrama from Kanyakumari to Kashmir will enter the State of Jammu and Kashmir on December 7.

"Named as Gandhi Karvan-e-Aman, Peace Parikrama will enter Jammu and Kashmir on December 7 and march across the length and breadth of the State during next 15 days to spread peace, communal harmony and unity," state president of Gandhi Global Family (GGF), an NGO, S P Verma told reporters here today.

The yatra for peace, which was flagged off from Kanyakumari in the memory of late Gandhian leader Nirmala Deshpande, is organised by the GGF- a federation of Gandhian Institutions, he said.

The aim is to promote peace, communal harmony, unity and create awareness to eradicate social evils in the society by organising public interactions en-route in accordance with the principles of Mahatma Gandhi, he said.

One or two committed Gandhians from each State and Union Territory are participating in Parikrama which will pass through 16 states and one union territory and will reach back to Kanyakumari on January 30 next year after covering a distance of over 15,000 kilometres within a span of 108-days of touching the northern most part of India that is Kashmir, Verma said.

The Parikrama will enter the State on December 7 via Lakhanpur in Kathua district and proceed to another destinations for 15 days upto December 21, he said.

The yatra would touch most of the districts, towns and shrines, including Mata Vaishnodevi, Hazratbal, Chatti badshai, Shankracharya, Khir Bhawani, besides Dal lake, he said.

Cong playing second fiddle to NC: Gupta

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: Accusing the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir of playing second fiddle to the National Conference (NC) to be in the coalition, the leader of BJP Legislative Party, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta said while the NC is carrying its semi-secessionist agenda forward, the Congress has forgotten all its election promises which it has made in last Assembly poll.

Sharply reacting to breaking of his silence and supporting the highly intriguing decision of Omar Abdullah led Cabinet about the return and rehabilitation of the ultras from Pakistan and PoK by the Pradesh Congress president, Saif-ud-Din Soz, the BJP leader said that it was a strange phenomenon that during the previous coalition with the PDP, Congress had bitterly opposed a resolution in the State Assembly but amazingly now the same Congress is advocating that there was nothing harmful in allowing the return and rehabilitation of those who had gone to the enemy camps for arms training.

He said this indicates that all the U-turn is to save their coalition with the NC, which is out to the extent of disputing even on the very issue of accession of this State with the Union of India.

Addressing a meeting of the Party activists here Prof Gupta said that it was strange that the Congress is carrying forward the agenda of NC, which is genetically communal and Kashmir based regional outfit. The Party over the years has discriminated against Jammu and Ladakh regions and it has completely forgotten the 2008 election manifesto.

The meeting was convened to review the preparations for on going Mandal wise demonstrations against the controversial utterances of CM and the policy adopted for return of ultras from Pak –PoK and their rehabilitation.

Tributes paid to Rajiv Dikshit

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: The Bharat Swabhiman and Patanjali Yog Samiti J&K members at a meeting at Ved Mandir here today paid rich tributes to national secretary of the Bharat Swabhiman, Bhai Rajiv Ji Dikshit who breathed his last on November 30.

The members while paying tributes to Mr Dikshit highlighted his contribution in launching the Bharat Swabhiman under the guidance of Yoga Guru Swami Ram Dev Ji to revolutionize the country and rid it from corruption and other evils.

The meeting among others was attended by Bansi Lal Ji, Rajya Prabhari, Dr Sujata Sathoo, Mahila Rajya Prabhari, Deepak Ji Seh Rajya Prabhari, Uma Ji, Seh Rajya Prabahri, Prem Ji Adyaksh Jammu Mandal, Balwant Ji, Adyaksh Jammu and Col. Som Dutt.

Physiotherapists’ protest enters 10th day

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: The day and night protest demonstration-cum-dharna launched by Jammu and Kashmir Physiotherapists Association at Divisional Commissioner’s office here, entered the 10th consecutive day today.

They are demanding their absorption in the Government jobs. Majority of the agitating persons are females. They are demanding that many physiotherapists are going to be over aged and waiting for the job.

Meanwhile, the JKPA has started signature campaign at Shalimar Chowk for the awareness among the people and their support. CPI( M) MLA Mohd Yousuf Tarigami visited the dharna site today and assured support to the physiotherapists.

Handicapped Association seeks reservation benefits

Excelsior Correspondent

BHADERWAH, Dec 2: The J&K Handicapped Welfare Association has strongly condemned the indifferent attitude of the Government and alleged that their quota of reservation is being diluted by the State Government.

In a meeting of the J&K Handicapped Welfare Association held here today, the speakers appealed the handicapped persons of the State to observe World Disabled Day as the ‘Black Day’, as the Omar Abdullah Government has failed to provide justice to the Handicapped persons. They pointed out that in the advertisements issued recently for the posts of different cadre, no mention of the quota of the Handicapped persons is being indicated. This section has been totally ignored now which never happened earlier. Strong resentment was brewing among the members of this class against the ruling coalition, they maintained.

They further urged the Government to increase the disability pension from Rs 400 to Rs 1500 per month in view of prevailing inflation. They also demanded free education for the children of the handicapped persons, establishment of vocational centers at the district level for them, concession in examination fee, easy loan on low interest, artificial limbs, wheel chairs crutches etc.

Thakur appointed incharge SSF Ramban

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: The Students Socialist Federation (SSF) in a meeting here today under the chairmanship of Qamar Qureshi its state secretary discussed various issues relating to student community.

The meeting appointed Ajit Thakur as incharge of district Ramban for the Federation.

Retiring Girdawar given warm send off

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: A warm and touching farewell was accorded to Mohd Shafi Magray, Girdawar, tehsil Kalakot of district Rajouri, who attained superannuation on November 30, 2010, after rendering 37 years of meritorious services to the Revenue Department.

All the officers and officials present on the occasion wished the retiring official a happy and healthy post-retirement life.

BSF celebrates Raising Day

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: The 46th Raising Day of Border Security Force (BSF) was celebrated at its Headquarters at Paloura with zeal and enthusiasm.

Several programme like Sainik Sammelan, cultural items and a blood donation camp were organized to mark the occasion.

Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, who participated in the dinner highlighted BSF’s achievements during the past few years in which several infiltration attempts on the IB were successfully foiled by vigilant border men.

He also appreciated development work under-taken by the BSF to help border villagers residing in remote areas. He also expressed satisfaction that 27 medical camps were organized by BSF during last year to give due medicare facilities to the people living in remote areas.

The chief guest made a special mention of the hard work put in by all officers and men of BSF at the International Border during the year due to which no terrorist related incident occurred and the border population, for the Ist time in recent years, could plan to cultivate their land right up to the fence.

He also emphasized that BSF should remain vigilant so that peace and tranquility can be maintained during the winter season as well.

Rather inaugurates JK Bank branch

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Dec 2: Substantiating its claims of reaching out to the far-flung areas of state with world-class banking and financial services, J&K Bank opened a full-fledged branch at Inshan, Wadwan which is one of the remotest parts of district Kishtwar. It was the Bank's 535th Business Unit and 8th in Kishtwar district.

Minister for Finance Abdul Rahim Rather inaugurated the Business Unit in presence of MLA Kishtwar Sajad Ahmad Kichloo, Director General Finance and Treasuries, Wali Mohammad Bhat and Vice president JK Bank Zonal Office Jammu (North), Vagish Chander Sharma.

He also impressed upon people to co-operate with the Bank staff and increase their awareness about financial and other banking products offered by the Bank.

"The opening of the branch in this remotest area testifies the Bank's single-minded focus on reaching out to unbanked and under-serviced areas so that the people residing here too can avail the benefits of financial empowerment for their economic well-being", said vice president Vagish Chander Sharma.

Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo said that the Business Unit will cater to the banking needs of whole Wadwan area which includes the villages of Inshan, Dassbal, Batta, Mingli, Aafti, Wurwan, Braine, Basmane, Margi and Sukhnam etc.

J&K freezes, Leh coldest

SRINAGAR, Dec 2: Jammu and Kashmir continued to reel under intense cold conditions with mercury dipping to minus 13.2 degree celsius in Leh in frontier region of Ladakh, which witnessed the coldest night of this winter in the State.

Leh recorded minus 13.2 deg C followed by Kargil at minus 10.0 deg C, MeT officials said. Srinagar also witnessed a further drop in the minimum temperature which settled at minus 2.2 deg C, one degree below normal for this part of the season.

The famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir was the coldest place in the Valley with a minimum of minus 4.7 deg C followed by Gulmarg where the night temperature was minus 4.0 deg C, the officials said.

Elsewhere, Jammu recorded minimum 8.3 deg C, while Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi Shrine, witnessed a low of 7.9 deg C.

The harsh weather hit water and power supply in many places of the State.

Water supply pipes in many rural areas were frozen and power supply was also hit with the water level receding in the main rivers due to cold, officials said. (PTI)

3 Bars sealed in City areas

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 2: The Excise Department and police tonight conducted joint raids and sealed three Bars selling liquor outside in Gandhi Nagar, Vikram Chowk and Jewel Chowk areas of the City.

Reports said Royal Bar, Gandhi Nagar, Canon Bar, Vikram Chowk and Haven Bar, Jewel Chowk were raided by Excise Department officials, joined by police tonight. Their staff was found selling liquor outside to which they were not entitled.

Three other Bars were also raided but they were found conducting their business as per norms.

The Excise teams led by Excise Commissioner G A Peer and Deputy Excise Commissioner (Executive) Manmohan Singh sealed all three Bars.

Further proceedings are being initiated against them.



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